Press Releases

Press Release 30 August 2021

Shifting weather patterns - a challenge to apparel industry

Climate change is the biggest crisis faced by humanity today, if unchecked, it could threaten not only the global economic development, but also the very existence of human life. It’s been going from bad to worse since last few years, but 2021 has been quite bad. There are heat waves, droughts, melting of glaciers and rising sea levels everywhere – all offspring of climate change. While all this threatens human survival, it could well hit every business – particularly those into apparel and fashion – in a big way.

The fashion industry has been centred around seasons and the preferred clothing habits in different parts of the world. But with seasons no longer so well defined and changing weather patterns creating havoc and uncertainty, retailers are unsure as to what to offer and when. Back in 2015, lack of ‘sweater weather’ in the US, owing to record warmth during October, November and December, resulted in excess inventory of sweaters, jackets and coats. That was 6 years back and it’s only got worst ever since.

What are the real and perceived impacts of climate change?

Increased incidences of natural disasters

The last decade has witnesses many drastic natural calamities, all directly related to the imbalance created by environment damage. Temperatures across Europe and parts of America have been phenomenally high this summer. So, it isn’t surprising to see wildfires, fuelled by extreme heat and drought, still ravaging many parts of Southern Europe, Turkey, Greece, France, Portugal and Italy. Back in 2020, nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced during Australia’s devastating bushfires. Experts now believe that climate change through greenhouse gas emissions is making the hot, arid conditions favourable for wildfires to occur more frequently.

Extended summer months

A typical summer season in Europe generally runs from June to August (3 months), but with the fast-advancing global warming significantly increasing the likelihood of extreme weather, it could very well extend the season to 5 to 6 months or more in the years to come. It is roughly the same in the US also, where the summer starts in June and ends on 1st September. Now, that would require an in-depth business strategy on the part of an apparel retailer, a supplier and all involved in the supply chain to redefine and reshape what one is going to wear.

Intense cold waves in some parts

While coming years could see unusually hot and humid weather in some parts of the globe, which never experienced such a climate before, there could be intense blood freezing cold in some other parts. In such areas, there would be need for four-layered or five-layered clothing or specialised boots in regions battling frost bites and cold waves. Protective clothing or temperature regulators could be ‘normal’ for the people to buy. Retailers need to be prepared, but the real challenge is when to put such stocks in stores and plan backwards, accordingly.

Extreme weather will fuel Work from Home

As the world now gets ready to battle the climate crisis and combat the extreme weather, Work from Home has gained more prominence and will continue to be a preferred work option for many. Also, let us not forget that it saves commuting time, energy and to some extent travelling cost as well. With most of business meetings happening on a laptop/notebook inside temperature-regulated rooms of one’s home, sweatpants, leggings, shorts and loungewear are fast becoming inherent pieces of one’s professional wardrobes. The trend is not going to die post pandemic, but is here to stay.

About Apparel Sourcing Week 2023

Apparel Sourcing Week 2023, a two-days Sourcing Show not only provides the Asian manufacturers a platform to showcase their products & manufacturing capabilities to the Brands & Retailers from all over the world including India, but also extends them a chance to attend the multiple seminars (headed by industry experts), workshops, open-house discussions and networking opportunities organised during these three days, which would help the manufacturers get a better understanding of Indian and International Retail and evolving dynamics of sourcing in various markets and retail formats.

About the Organiser

Apparel Resources is well known for its benchmark publications – Apparel Online, StitchWorld and Resource Guide published from India, Bangladesh & Vietnam. These publications have been around in the industry for over 35 years, supporting, guiding and standing by garment exporters and the retail industry globally, providing them a platform to source better.